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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 5, 2009 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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here in washington about how to proceed with negotiations with iran and the whole notion of trying to develop various forms of perspective the course of leverage as a way of increasing the chances that negotiations would succeed and you've referred to the idea why not in advance international support for the sanctions than we've had before. you referred to -- by wanted to ask particularly with regard to whatever may be ongoing in terms of u.s. programs to support dissident groups, promoting democracy however it's described in iran come to you think it's important in order to maximize the chances for diplomatic
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engagement or is it important for the united states in some way to show that it is stepping back from these programs and also with on the international sanctions in goal, does the idea we are trying to line up support before negotiations even began actually undercut the chances that the negotiations might succeed rather than providing some leverage which would help them succeed? >> well i think it is clear from what i was saying that i feel if we do these things openly, ratchet up plans for the sanctions and so forth this is unhealthful negotiations because it creates a course of the atmosphere for negotiations in which one party feels it is in affect compelled to negotiate under the u.s.. this doesn't mean however we can't make these commands. obviously one always engages in contingency planning but doing it overtly openly as has been
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talked about i think it is counterproductive so this is why i am skeptical about that approach and i suspect that it either involves misjudgment of the iranians or perhaps is advocated in the hope that it will contribute to a stalemate and then failure of the negotiations because i am not convinced everybody in the bureaucracy necessarily shares the same goals regarding the negotiations as the president has articulated. as far as democracy promotion is concerned or other activities, i think the distinction is precisely that between democracy promotion and other activities in the other activities are not explicitly discussed and their ekstrand is certainly not subject to very specific knowledge in the public domain.
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but there are some indications over the last several years that the promotion of democracy perhaps isn't limited to human rights advocacy, ngos, instruction, how to vote, how to organize free e elections but it may go further than that such as for example encouraging conflict within iran and if not by us by whom? support for the mujahideen station in northeast iraq still under u.s. protection, having been labeled at one point as a terrorist group but to that label being written and removed, so activities of the sort i think probably if there are significant degree would also be something to be reexamined if one is really serious about negotiations and i don't think it is in our interest to engage
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in activities which may unintentionally have the effect of fusing the iranians internationalism with shiite fundamentalism and i think that combination is the source of support for iran and extremism and monitor the ahmadinejad has nurtured his political chances through that and i think the more that the iran and population particularly urban intelligentsia the urban middle class and the young girl generation feels there are benefits to be had in a constructive relationship with the west particularly the united states the more likely is there the political change within iran in the long run and that is the way to achieve something that
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implies a significant turn towards democracy. there is a former democracy in iran already that we tend to disregard. many of you look at these elections today about our ongoing and can anyone in the room tell me with confidence and i certainly cannot answer the question of confidence who is going to win. if you ask me about russian the elections, in 2012i will tell you right now who is going to win. [laughter] if that person is a life. and that is a rather basic difference, isn't it? so we have elections which are complicated, but in the sense democratic. i wonder how many people know that there is a woman who is a vice president in iran right now. how many know in this country, not in this room there are more women in iran and universities that men have? a lot of professions such as
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small or medicine, doctors and players are heavily permeated by women not to mention the literature was also won by a woman recently, she is iranians. this is not the sort of stereotype country of medieval islam. it is a very complicated mixture in which nationalism plays a very important role in the sense of the imperial tradition plays a very important role and in the sense the country's own birth. it is also a country more than 80 years even longer than that for more than 80 years, almost 100 years heavily focused its own sense of internal change in western europe and its model specific to germany. german universities, german education and all of that has had very high standing major impact on iran, very much like
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turkey and the country with which most iranians have the contact is turkey. and every time they go to turkey the most notice some significant differences between turkey and themselves. so this is a much more complicated country than in the notion of a few crazy ayatollahs and nonet lunatic quote on quote president. it is a serious country in the midst of an extremist been shot but of which if tackled intelligently is bound to win if one can judge on the basis of its own socio-economic levels in its history. yes, ma'am? >> i wanted to ask you to examine the scenario of iran that doesn't come back to the u.s. and agree to negotiations even after the civil down after the elections.
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but should the u.s. attitude be? hillary clinton already spoke of crippling sanctions. haven't we some how box ourselves and all ready with comments like that and even the dateline of the end of the year? what should the response be in this country if they don't come back and then just a question about obama speech yesterday there's been a lot of criticism that he was a bit too squishy in terms of his use of language he talked about violent extremism. he never talked about islamic extremism. he didn't talk about terrorism. did he go to far on the other side in his effort to reach out? thank you. >> well, if iran chooses not to come to the negotiating table, then it will set in motion consequences we do not need to talk about before they take that decision. i certainly am not so and i need a person has to think if they don't come to the table it
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should have no effect whatsoever. it will have an effect obviously but we don't need to try to entice them to come to the table by issuing implicit or explicit threats because that would be counterproductive. my sense is that there is a fair amount of interest in iran and negotiating and i think there are some indications from the irani and he leaped that is currently the case. even in a totally different level relatively insignificant but rather symbolic level i would experience that myself and dave view me correctly as a person who wanted the united states to do much more than a did to prevent khamenei from assuming power and that was my position and because i never had illusions that khamenei would result in a regime that is literally progressive. nonetheless i've been asked by
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the iranians recently to appear on iranian television to discuss the relationship they wanted me to discuss it with one of the key advisers of the supreme leader and i said i wouldn't do it on that basis because i have no insurance that will not become a rather hostile debate between the two of us and i see no merit in rehashing the past, so i would rather appear on the television in which journalists ask me questions and i and the out my point of view and they agreed to that and they take 27 minutes and i said nothing would be cut and they said nothing would be cut and they actually broadcast it on the television and of course throughout the interview i refused to get rahman to the business of you were -- he made the diplomats
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and hostages i repeatedly said let's forget the past and start where we are. is it in our mutual interest or not to deal with a set of issues and i just kept repeating that basically and the full text of that interview was printed in four newspapers in tehran without cuts and then the leading newspaper came to me in additional interview and they just published a week or so ago. well, that is a hint of a desire to engage in dialogue. it certainly was not designed to stimulate more hostility because i didn't play that game and i didn't let myself get drawn into that and then newsweek actually produced on the web a telephone conversation with the first foreign minister under khamenei after the revolution and myself whom i met in algiers when he and the prime minister came to algiers shortly after khamenei
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took power and i went there and i met with them on behalf of the president and i told them we are prepared to deal with the islamic republic of iran and if they wished they can still have even the military equipment relationship and so forth and they were sort of positively inclined, but after they went back to tehran about a week or so later the extremist elements stage a coup and overthrew them but neither one of them was in present and he's still alive and we had a kind of retrospective discussion which was recorded and made public which again seems to indicate there is within this complicated body of politics at least the strand deserves being exploited. on obama speech in his language, he didn't talk about islamic terrorism. well, we had eight years of
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islamophobia sanctioned from the top down, and we heard constantly about jihadists terrorist, islamic terrorists, the caliphate and so forth and so forth. in a sense creating publicly the sense of an american perception of the world of islam dominated by these people and in affect putting in the same box the moderates and extremists. how what other people feel if in the case of the activity of northern ireland we only spoke about catholic terrorism, roman catholic papacy as its objective and so forth? my guess is the 60 million americans in the country would find that offensive and it wouldn't be helpful in isolating the ira. and that is what we did.
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i think it was foolishness, stability, and negative durham and hearing. it goes further than that. our previous president in the last state of the union message, the last state of the union message confidently predicted the struggle against terrorism would be the defining ideological challenge of the 21st century. remember when he delivered the speech it was february, 2008. would anyone in 1908 predict the 20th century would be dominated by the rise of hitler, would anyone in 1808 predict the rise of nationalism would define the politics of europe? it took enormous courage on the
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part of the previous president to act as a historian of the future to make that statement. but that was the official vision of the future. by the president of the united states private i think it is a good thing obama is offering an alternative vision of the future one which i think is more compatible the spirit of the times, one in which in fact we need a reconciliation of civilizations and not moral sanction in a clash of civilizations. so i approve entirely with what he said as a philosophical statement this was a politically philosophical statement defining his sense of what we are about and where we are headed in this century. it does imply policies i happen to favor. yes, please?
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>> john from the national council -- [inaudible] thank you, john duke anthony, national council on u.s. eckert relations. to add to the further leverage of line of questioning and your response of ethnic divisions from mujahideen etc, where would you put the u.s. foundage broadcast into iran from the clinton administration to allegedly drive a wedge between the government and the populace on one hand and the los angeles based broadcast as well? could this in any way be a game breaker, game changer if the iranians said we want both of those stopped as well because we don't do that to you and we are trying to to discuss and of diplomatic debates on equal
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footing. >> you know i am not acquainted dodged the question by pleading ignorance, but i have to plead and gardens. i really don't know the outfits do. i don't know what our official broadcasts say whether they are news or politically oriented analyses or recommendations and i have no idea what the people in l.a. are doing. there is one simple point however, we cannot do anything that restricts our freedom of expression. and i am not quite sure whether that freedom of expression can be limited when american citizens decide to address the issues in the country of origin or country of special-interest. i think there would be a serious problem. so i don't think our freedom of speech can be subject of negotiation with a foreign government unless there is absolutely clear evidence it is not freedom of expression but advocacy of some sort of
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violence on that affect in which there may be legitimate foreign objections. i imagine if someone was broadcasting to the united states from a country with which we have diplomatic relations urging what say muslim americans to start engaging in let's say suicide terrorism that we would have legitimate grounds for an to the government saying wait a minute, you guys better get this under control. all right, in the back all the way. >> thanks, i wanted to ask about the role of third-party is in helping persuade the iranians that perhaps are taking the risk of some new relationship with the united states is worth it. while i certainly agree many of the irani and elite are intrigued by obama certainly there are power centers in iran not persuaded it's in their interest to change the relationship with us.
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if you national security adviser what you recall when india or turkey or indonesia and saying can you help us out here and how can we persuade the iranians that this is the right thing to do blacks get without being a national security adviser i have done a little bit of that through less important contact than i currently have, but absolutely, yes. i think if there are countries that can have constructive influence on the iranians and if they are willing to do so we should encourage them. i would add china to that list. i think once you have mentioned turkey certainly is involved, there is no doubt about its. i don't know how much influence indians have, maybe there are people here who know more about that particular relationship. i just don't know. do you know? does anybody know?
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well, anyway, i agree with you. nadia? >> okay, well, we can't get you out of here without commenting on the peace process, so i was wondering -- >> which one? [laughter] >> rice, the other one. wondering if you could comment on the linkage that exists between engagement with iran and the arab-israeli diplomacy. >> i think that the bate switch comes first is utile. i think each affects the other and if there is no progress on the israel palestinian front and the issue thereby becomes more intractable isn't very helpful and how were dealings with iran because indirectly hamas, hezbollah and others are involved and vice versa. if we don't have any serious movement with iran, not necessarily movement towards the
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real agreement but on the whole set of negotiations in which some issues might move forward more rapidly than others that is also going to create a more negative atmosphere so i would say that to our kind of interactive. i don't accept the israeli position we have to deal with iran before we get serious in the peace process but i don't take the opposite of that is true either. it is an interactive process, both issues. both issues are potentially dangerous and damaging. >> to what extent do you think this correction that is developing in the last few days especially will the fact or constrain to any extent the obama administration in terms of their post iranians election engagement efforts pure yet >> i don't think it will be let hid either way. i think that what it has on however it is elevated one specific issue very explicitly
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into the policy issue. because the rest of the speech i think there is nothing that is precisely binding or is precisely a clear-cut test. but this issue is quite precise you put the united states on record as saying settlements are illegal, there are on acceptable, they are damaging, they have to stop. well, that is a fairly categorical definition of a problem. and there will have to be either some accommodation on the part of the israelis or its absence and one way or another it is going to affect what is happening and in some ways, in some ways affect the relationship so that issue has been joined and that is one specific and concrete policy consequence inherent. yes?
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>> dr. brzezinski, as you know, there is this argument made by [inaudible] about the grand bargain ultimately as a way of negotiating with iran. of course some argue that, you know, iranians are not ready and make, you know, argument against this. i would like to know where do you stand and if you do not agree with this grand bargain approach, how do you, you know, [inaudible] >> i am not sure i agree or disagree with the grand bargain coach. it is a grant slogan and the fact the matter is if there are negotiations they are gwen to involve a variety of issues. and not all of these issues can be discussed at the same time. so there will have to be some
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set of negotiations going on presumably in some relationship to each other through special task forces or subcommittees and so forth and on that basis we will be able to judge what issues are moving forwards to a potential resolution that perhaps contingent on progress and other issues and as some point we will be able to decide whether we can resolve some issues initially and others leader or whether we wait in conjunction with all of them. i don't think it is possible to judge that until we know the position of the other side is and with the possible agenda for the talks is and then on that basis organize the process which at our end is going to be complicated by the fact i first mentioned in my comments that not all of the participants on our side have similar views and which will be complicated also on the iranians by the likelihood the iranians government will be divided on these issues and there will be an ongoing political debate
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within iran, even as the process unfolds. so i don't think i can answer your question yes or no. all right. yes, sir. >> this will be the last one. >> okay. >> dr. brzezinski question. you mentioned the north korea and iran formulation and in iran there by saying we don't want, we don't seek the religious -- connotation but the same report you mentioned in 27 argued with confidence iran was seeking and did want nuclear weapons so how do we prevent them from the assimilating and chewing out the negotiations such as they've been doing their by pursuing the technical time on such as the time if and when they do ss the debt they want nuclear weapons? thank you. >> first of the reports said they were seeking nuclear
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weapons. >> were seeking, correct. >> and they were not at the present. >> you said they were keeping options open. >> that is different from what he said earlier. that's right. they are keeping their options open. that is different. the point of the negotiations is that these options are at some point closed. that is the point of the negotiations. the have as their object of an arrangement whereby we have confidence that what they are ostensibly claiming because the option is closed and that's the whole objection of the oxides. whether that will succeed or not we do not know in advance but i don't see any other way to proceed but in any case that from the situation with the north koreans who say something different and therefore the negotiations are defined automatically as being in a different context.
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the north koreans say we pointed and seeking them and we have it so what are they going to do about it and then we have to decide are beginning to bribe them to get them off of it? or week and to pressure them to compel them, intimidate, who as going to be helpful and that is the situation. thank you. [applause] >> well, i think accommodation of clarity, candor, audacity and pratt of vision is what we look for from dr. brzezinski and i think that we all got what we were looking for today. in conclusion i would like to thank all of you for joining us today. there are still i think copies of the number of defects recent rand publications outside for those of you that haven't picked them up and in conclusion i would like to thank those that provide support for the organization of this event. ipod thank all the members of
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our middle least board including dr. brzezinski, who are in attendance today. and i would like to thank of terse on the rand staff who did all the work to make today's event possible. so i would like you to thank them as well. [applause] [inaudible conversations] ..
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